Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 109 protector; which ,was the only time that ever I preached to him, . save once, long before, when he was an inferior man among other auditors. I knew not which way to provoke him better to duty, than by preaching on 1 Cor. i. 10, against the divisions and dis- tractions of the church ; and showing how mischievous a ' thing it was for politicians to maintain such divisions for their own ends, that they might fish in troubled waters, andkeep thechurch by its divisions in a state of weakness, lest it should be able to offend them; and to show the necessity and means of union. My plain- ness, I heard, was displeasing to him and his courtiers ; ` but they put it up. "Awhile after, Cromwell sent to speakwith me; and when I carne, in the presence of only three of his chief men, he began a long and tediousspeech to me of God's providence in the change of the government, and how God had owned it, and what great things had been done at home and abroad, in the peace with Spain and Holland, &c. When he had wearied us all with speaking thus slowly about an hour, I told him it was too great condescen- sion to acquaint me so fully with all these matters, which were above me; but I told him that we took our ancient monarchy to be a blessing, and not an evil to the land ; and humbly craved his patience that I might ask him how England had ever forfeited that blessing, and unto whom that forfeiture was made? ` I was fain to . speak of the species of governmentonly, for it had lately been made treason, by law, to 'speak for the person of the king. "Upon that question, he was awakened into some passion, and then told me it was no forfeiture, but God had changed it as pleas- ed him ; and then he let fly at the parliament, which thwarted him ; and especially, by name, at four or five of those members who were my chief acquaintances, and I presumed to defend them against his passion ; and thus four or five hours were spent. "A few days after, he sent for me again, to hear mÿ judgment about liberty ofconscience, which he pretended to be most zealous for, before almost all his privy council'; where, after anther slow, tedious speech of his, I told him a little of my judgment. And when two of' his company had spun out a great deal more of the time in such -like tedious, but more ignorant speeches, some four or five hours being spent, I told him that if he would be at the labor to read it, I could tell him more of my mind in writing in two sheets, than in that way of speaking in many days and that I had a paper on the subject by me, written for a friend, which, if he would peruse, and allow for the change of person, he would know my sense. He received the paper afterwards, but I scarcely be- lieve that he ever read it; for I saw that what he learned must he from himself; being more disposed to speak many hours, than to